Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Call for Submissions For Adirondack Literary Awards

unnamed(4)The Adirondack Center for Writing Literary Awards are a way to honor the writers and publishers who live and work (even part time) in the North Country. Submissions don’t have to be Adirondack-themed, though they can be. If you live here and published this past year, send two copies for submission.

The organizers are looking for submissions of fiction, non-fiction, children’s literature, memoir, edited collections and poetry. ACW  judges will choose a winner from each category, and popular vote decides a People’s Choice Award at the ceremony in June at the Blue Mountain Center, which donates space and resources for the event. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Young Playwrights Festival at Pendragon Theatre

Pendragon Theatre CampPendragon Theatre has always been one of my family’s favorite places to see a theatre performance in the Adirondack Park. In addition to an intimate theatre experience, there are always opportunities for children to gain professional theatre skills.

Pendragon hosts kids’ camps, live productions and internships throughout the year. Their latest event is bringing not just the stage alive for young adults, but hopefully their words as well. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Up on a Hill: A New Memoir of Ticonderoga

Stubing Rist coverUp on a Hill and Thereabouts: An Adirondack Childhood (SUNY Press, 2013) by Gloria Stubing Rist is a memoir of growing up in Chilson near Ticonderoga during the Great Depression.  In the 1930s, life for kids tucked away in the quiet woodlands of the Adirondacks was rich with nature and filled with human characters.

This memoir contains the recollections of one woman who spent her childhood on the hillsides and in the woods near Ticonderoga. Rist served as Newcomb Central School’s school nurse for five years. Her father-in-law was Ernest Rist, a Newcomb politician in the 1920s through the 1950s. Following his death, New York State honored him by naming a previously unnamed peak after him, Rist Mountain in the southeast corner of the Marcy quadrangle. » Continue Reading.



Monday, September 30, 2013

Commentary: Google, Local Authors And Copyright

CopyrightDinosaur2The Category: Things that Share a Common Bond.

The Answer: “Floppy disks, the appendix, cassette tapes, the Latin language, and wisdom teeth.”

The Correct Question: “What are things that are useless or obsolete?” If you see that question on Jeopardy some day in the not-too-distant future, Alex Trebek might be adding one more element to the answers: the copyright claim. In fact, considering the beating that individual copy rights have taken recently, there’s an argument to be made that private copy rights have already gone the way of the dinosaurs. And there’s no role for cloning in this narrative.

Most of us (“us” as in frequent computer users) love Google for one reason or another. In many cases, it’s a love-hate relationship: we love the speedy access to so much information, but we hate the lack of privacy. We love the research capabilities, but we hate the way they use our personal information for advertising. On and on it goes. » Continue Reading.


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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Center For Writing Creates Adirondack Literary Map

Adirondack Literary MapMany famous works of literature have Adirondack links, some of them surprising. The Adirondack Center for Writing has created an Adirondack Literary Map that shows where these passages are all set.  The map includes everything from a Nancy Drew novel set in Lake Placid and “The Spy Who Loved Me” in Glens Falls to classics like “The Sweet Hereafter,” celebrating the intersection of writing and place within the Park.

When Sylvia Plath broke her leg skiing at Mount Pisgah in Saranac Lake, she sent this telegram home to her family: “BRINGING FABULOUS FRACTURED FIBULA NO PAIN JUST TRICKY TO MANIPULATE WHILST CHARLESTONING.” Whether this was before or after she wrote scenes of “The Bell Jar” from the Adirondacks is up for debate. » Continue Reading.



Monday, July 29, 2013

Lawrence Gooley: A Trip To The Big City

89Life takes so many strange turns, you never know what to expect. We’ve seen that often while operating our own business, but recent events were particularly unusual, to the extent that I’d like to share them with you. Three weeks ago, near the end of that long stretch of rain nearly every day, we battled flooding and incurred some damage that cost us more than a few dollars. And up to that point, I had worked all day almost every day since New Year’s. That level of tired can get to you after a while, but an unexpected turn of events soon re-energized me.

While things were still unsettled, we received a phone call from a media outfit. It appeared to perhaps be a survey about television, and maybe about our viewing habits. We’ve received similar calls in the past, and with all the “busy-ness” going on, we could have ignored this one. » Continue Reading.



Monday, April 15, 2013

Adirondack Books: A Best Seller or A Local Seller?

Adirondack Books at Hoss'sWould you rather have a book on the New York Times Best Seller List, or a top seller in the Adirondack region?

If you’re an aspiring author, I know, I know … stupid question. But humor me, and before you answer, let me further define the question in this fashion: your book appearing on the New York Times list was produced, marketed, and sold by one of the world’s largest publishing companies. Your regional book, on the other hand, was self-published, which means it was funded, marketed, and sold by you.

I recently asked my partner that question, with the answer appearing obvious to both of us―but it isn’t. Actually, your reply depends on your goals: bragging rights for making the Times list, along with a semblance of fame and a profit; or regional popularity and a larger profit. » Continue Reading.



Monday, April 1, 2013

Commentary: Lawrence Gooley On Buying Local

Buy LocalBuy local … it works! A month ago, I wrote about Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza suing the country’s six largest publishers over e-book issues, and the impact the outcome might have on regional booksellers. As one way of fighting back and helping small businesses (including those in the Adirondacks) survive against the behemoths, I urged consumers to buy local and support the stores in their communities. One comment generated by my story dismissed the idea: “Anyway, exhortations to buy local or buy paper books isn’t going to work, and is not the answer.”

Recent statistics suggest that just the opposite is proving true: it is part of the answer. Despite widespread claims in recent years that e-books would soon cause the demise of printed books, independent bookstores had a great year in 2012. And one of the contributing factors cited is the Buy Local movement. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, February 28, 2013

Adirondack Center For Writing’s Literary Awards

Adirodnack Center for WritingThere is still a week left to enter the Adirondack Center for Writing’s (ACW) popular annual Adirondack Literary Awards. ACW is looking for submissions of fiction, poetry, children’s literature, memoir, nonfiction, and photography published any time in 2012.

The ACW Literary Awards is a way to honor the writers and publishers who live and work (even part-time) in the North Country. Submission don’t have to be Adirondack- themed, though they can be. If you live here and published this past year, just send in twocopies for consideration before March 8th.  Attach a cover letter with complete contact information and the genre in which you will enter your submission. » Continue Reading.



Monday, February 18, 2013

Remembering Chestertown Author David Pitkin

David Pitkin Afterworld 3HThe regional writing community lost a well-known member with the recent death of David Pitkin, 73, of Chestertown on February 13. I first communicated with David via email many years ago to obtain copies of his books for our online store. In person or by email, he came across as friendly, kind, and gracious. While I didn’t know him well personally and only met him a few times at book events, I did know him through his writings.

David was the most recognized ghost-story author in the Adirondack region. A native of Corinth in Saratoga County, he wrote his first book of ghost stories in 1998 following retirement from 36 years as a schoolteacher. The subject was ghosts of Saratoga County, which Pitkin called “America’s most haunted county.”  The book was a success, leading to many more similar titles, the most recent of which was released just six months before his death. He also wrote a novel and was working on a sequel at his passing. » Continue Reading.



Monday, February 4, 2013

Climate Change: Entries From A 1970s Journal

PPR Headline 19 Apr 1976A few weeks ago, in a piece about old-time weather forecaster Billy Spinner, I mentioned insects on our sidewalk near Christmastime, which is certainly out of the ordinary in my life’s experience. In another piece in December, I mentioned the value of keeping a journal. The two subjects came together recently when I was pondering how the winters of my youth seem so different from those we are experiencing today. Of course, we can’t trust our memories, which again demonstrates the value of a journal.

Now don’t get all excited thinking that I’m trying to prove climate change or global warming. I do know that through my teen years (mainly the 1960s), little time was spent wondering if we would have a white Christmas each year. It was basically a given. » Continue Reading.



Monday, January 28, 2013

Gooley on Garrow: Accuracy And Historical Narrative

Caveat Emptor sign 02Standards are important when writing something for public consumption. If the material is based on an actual event (rather than an opinion piece or commentary), the writer carries the burden of getting it right, a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. We all make mistakes, and though it’s not my role in life to criticize others, books are important to me, and when I see slipshod work passed off as factual, it’s very irritating. It diminishes the efforts of regional writers when poorly researched and error-filled regional books are offered to the public. » Continue Reading.


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Monday, January 7, 2013

Writing: Avoiding Book Publishing Frauds

With so many successful self-published books in the Adirondack region, it was disturbing to hear the recent news so close to home that police in Hinesburg, Vermont (south of Burlington), discovered what they have termed a Ponzi-style publishing scheme. The case first came to light in June 2011 when it was reported that Peter Campbell-Copp, former president of the Manchester Historical Society, had allegedly defrauded individuals and businesses to the tune of $170,000.

According to media reports, Campbell-Copp contracted to handle the editing, printing, and marketing of clients’ books as a publisher. Apparently, some of the printing was done by at least two firms, and Campbell-Copp was known to have served at least fifteen authors. Except that the allegations are he served them nothing but bitterness.

According to police, taking the biggest hit of all was Print Tech, a Burlington company for more than three decades. Around January 2010, they began producing print jobs for Campbell-Copp, receiving several scheduled payments. The work continued, but the payments stopped, and the work eventually stopped as well, by which time the company was owed about $100,000. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

High Peaks Happy Hour: 2012 Annual Report

Whether measured as 9,375 square miles or as 6.1 million acres, we can vouch for the fact that the Adirondack Park is huge. We covered most of the main roads in the park, visited nearly 120 bars and clocked over 5,600 miles since we began our project in January, 2011, to find the best 46 “High Peak” bars in the Adirondack Park. The farthest distance traveled one way was 110 miles to Cranberry Lake. Many others were very close to that distance in any direction. Pam, a self-proclaimed excellent driver, logged most of those miles while Kim served as navigator, photographer and chief note taker. » Continue Reading.



Monday, December 17, 2012

An Autobiography: Edward Livingston Trudeau

A recent “discovery” brought me great pleasure: a beautifully written book about a very popular Adirondack subject. The book was written more than a century ago (thus the quotation marks), and many are familiar with it. It was a discovery for me because I had never read it and had never seen it among the genres of history or medicine on area bookshelves. In fact, I only came across it as part of a new venture here at Bloated Toe Publishing.

We recently began producing our “Preserving History” collection―physical reprints of outstanding books that are part of the public domain (not copyright protected). As part of the process, I’m required to read through each one. That’s what led me to An Autobiography: Edward Livingston Trudeau.

An excellent perk of producing this collection is being “forced” to read great books that I otherwise might not find time to enjoy. It adds to all the busyness, but what a payoff! Trudeau’s own story is a gem. » Continue Reading.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Lawrence Gooley On Keeping A Journal

From April 15, 1976: “As we hiked upstream, we were treated to the view of rocky landscapes and numerous rapids, interspersed with waterfalls and calm pools. We could see the high mountain nearby. Following the stream towards the base of this rocky mountain, we discovered the remains of an old log cabin. Only a few feet of the cabin walls were still standing, and the remnants of an old stove lay scattered about the area. A water bucket lay next to the lines of a beaten path, which led to the stream only 30 feet away. I found a beat-up hatchet with about half of the leather wrappings around the handle still intact.”

What you just read, plus dozens of other details not included here, are lost memories, except for the part about the hatchet. Hmmm … lost memories, but they’re being written about? Guess I’ve got some explaining to do.
» Continue Reading.



Monday, October 15, 2012

Commentary: Lawrence Gooley On Google Books

Remember Napster and the legal cases against individuals who used it to obtain copies of songs without paying for them? Citizens were pursued relentlessly by huge companies and eventually made an example of in court, getting hit by fines in the thousands of dollars. I’m not defending what those individuals did, but when the shoe is on the other foot, it’s an entirely different story. A large company has been brazenly stealing from thousands of citizens, and they may well get away with it.

In this case, instead of music, it’s books, and instead of citizens, it’s a gigantic company, Google, that has completely ignored longstanding law and violated the rights of thousands. On their own, they redefined US copyright law in order to suit their business plan, copying millions of books without bothering to seek authors’ permission.
» Continue Reading.